Graham's page: Liz's Lighthouse Challenge
In memory of: Liz Biner
£15,023.00 raised of £5,000.00 target
£15,023.00 raised so far
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26.11.20122 - A thank-you from Graham
On 11 September 2011, I, Graham Biner, embarked on a gruelling 5-day run across the north coast of Scotland. Starting at the lighthouse in Cape Wrath, the most North Westerly point in the UK mainland, I ran a total of 129 miles to the Duncansby Head lighthouse, situated on the most North Easterly point of the country. This effort was aimed at raising £5,000 for Havens Hospices and to honour a promise I had made, together with my wife, Liz, whilst she was being cared for by the charity’s adult hospice, Fair Havens.
Despite gale-force winds and torrential rain hindering my journey, I successfully completed ‘Liz’s Lighthouse Challenge’ on 15 September and, at a celebration party for all those involved held on Friday 25 November, I presented a cheque to Havens Hospices for the total amount raised… a staggering £15,023.00 – over triple the amount I originally set out to achieve!
Liz’s Lighthouse Challenge was challenging, draining and at times, painful, but I can truly say that every single step, every 15% incline, every battle with the wind, cold and rain was completely worth it. To the best of my knowledge that journey has never been completed by a person entirely unaided before, and so I have upheld a promise I made to my beautiful wife to do something unique and special to raise money for Havens Hospices as a ‘thank you’ for the incredible support they gave to us. Carrying her ashes every step of the way meant we crossed the distance together and raised an amount of money that will hopefully make a big difference to the charity.
I hoped that I would reach the £5,000 mark but I never dreamed that we would break the £15,000 barrier – I’m over the moon! It wasn’t just me though, Liz’s eldest son, William (12) also took part in the Challenge and was sponsored for completing a marathon distance over the five days. He smashed his target too and actually ran a total of 44.9 miles, 17.5 of which he ran on the final day! His mum would be so proud of him.
The LLC team, William and I were overwhelmed with the help and encouragement we were offered along the route of the Challenge. I was insistent on wanting to make the distance entirely unaided and so even donned a wetsuit so I could swim across the Kyle of Durness – an expanse of water at the beginning of the route. On hearing about the plan, locals James Mather and Allan Andrews got their boat out in the water especially to shield and guide me across the safest channel. From here on in, we were inundated with cheers of encouragement, cash donations, cups of tea and even heated blankets!
If you haven’t already, check out the videos on the Gallery page of the LLC website – they’ll provide you with a real flavour of what the trip was really like… from wind and rain to missing toenails!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person that helped me keep my promise to Liz. Without the kindness, help, support and generosity of all those that have been involved with and supported Liz’s Lighthouse Challenge, it wouldn’t have been possible at all, and so I thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
Now it’s done though, I must admit, I can’t help thinking… what crazy challenge can I find to do next?
14.09.2011 - Challenge Update
Hi all - the Support Crew here just wanting to give you an update on Graham's progress. He started the Challenge on Sunday from Cape Wrath lighthouse, where he proceeded to run 11 miles from the lighthouse, back to the quayside where he waited for the tide to stop turning before swimming, yes swimming, across the Kyle of Durness - and yep, it was freezing cold. Locals James Mather and Alan Andrews were instrumental in helping Graham achieve this swim as they traversed the water alongside him in their boat to ensure his safety. By swimming this stretch, it means Graham will be able to make the entire North West to North East journey with no mechanical assistance - what an incredible (and we believe entirely unique) feat!
Day 2 was also brilliant, with Graham setting off from Smoo Cave and arriving 29.6 miles of hard hills later, at Tongue. Though the numerous cattle grids were a frustration and the 15% gradient hills were tough going, he battled on and completed the day's route in a little under 5.75 hours (including breaks). William did brilliantly too, tackling his segment early on and and starting out with Graham from Smoo Cave before joining the rest of the support team approx 5 miles down the road for tea and cake!
Day 3 though - WOW! The toughest terrain yet, the longest distance and the worst weather, but despite all this, Graham completed a massive 33.17 miles today, including a 5-mile detour up to Strathy Point lighthouse and back - marking his visit to the second of the five lighthouses he will be visiting along his route. William was also incredible, starting out at Strathy Point lighthouse and ending 7.08 miles later at the Halladale Inn, our overnight stop. Along the journey, Graham and the team have been bowled over by the support and encouragement that has been given to him by the people we have met along the way - many of which have offered so much assistance and support in various ways that there is no doubt we will remain in touch. Today was no exception - on day 4 we will be scheduling a break in Reay to catch up with the lovely Helen who has offered Graham a cup of tea and warm place to rest for a while after she met him at a bus stop in Betty hill on day 3. We have also been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the staff and patrons at the Halladale Inn in Melvich - they have given generous donations, a heated blanket to assist in keeping Graham warm on his breaks for the rest of the challenge, all wrapped up in the biggest dose of encouragement and kindness you can imagine. People can simply be so lovely.
So, we're now at the beginning of day 4, where Graham is setting off from Melvich and running to Dunnet Bay, via Holborn Head lighthouse. Its a 28.3 mile day, so another gruelling distance, made even more tough by the drop in temperature we've had overnight... and the rain, which is now driving! Internet connection permitting, we'll post another update tonight - but make sure you check out the website gallery and blog - we've managed to upload pictures from the first three days, and William is doing a stirling job on the blog.
26.08.2011 - Update
Wow! Over £3,400 raised and still climbing! I'm so grateful to everyone that is offering support to this challenge. We've made quite a lot of updates to the challenge website recently, so don't forget to visit it - and especially take a look at the 'gallery' page for a peek at some lighthouse and route photographs Will and I took on a recent 'research' trip to Scotland. You can also link through to YouTube to listen to my recent BBC Essex radio interview.
Keep your eyes peeled for further updates - the support team and I are working on ways to send through day-by-day progress updates during the challenge itself, and with the help of the team at Havens Hospices, we hope we can do that via video... keep fingers crossed for web/mobile connection in the highlands!
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
In September 2010, whilst my wife, Liz, was receiving care in Fair Havens Hospice, we made a promise to each other – that whatever happened, we would do something special to raise money for this brilliant charity, which had provided Liz and our entire family with incredible support throughout her illness.
Sadly on September 11, we lost our expectation for Liz's life due to cancer – but I still have my promise to uphold and that’s what ‘Liz’s Lighthouse Challenge’ is all about.
On September 11 2011, I will set out from Cape Wrath lighthouse in Scotland and over the course of 5 days, will run a total of 122 miles, finishing at Duncansby Head lighthouse on 15 September. The route marks the journey from the most North Westerly to the most North Easterly points in the UK mainland, and to the best of my Google-aided knowledge, has never been completed previously.
Along the way, I will stop off at three additional lighthouses, making five in total. So why lighthouses? They’re a beacon of light, representing guidance, protection, security and hope, which for me captures the essence of the amazing support that Fair Havens provided Liz and I through those difficult times.
I'm happy to reveal that Liz's eldest son, Will, has also decided to participate in the challenge and will be running alongside me for a total of 26.2 miles across the five days (his own personal marathon!).
Liz and I had experienced some huge challenges since 2008 when Liz was originally diagnosed with breast cancer and five days later I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Luckily for me, the kidney cancer hadn’t spread and was able to be removed. Originally we believed the same was true for Liz, and so we headed to Australia in October 2009 to get married and to celebrate our future. (Click link for more information: http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/7989391.Our_dream_wedding_down_under_after_cancer_nightmare/ )
So there it is, ‘Liz’s Lighthouse Challenge’ is the fulfilment of a promise to embrace the future and to positively make a difference to a charity that made such a difference to us. As it was a joint promise, I vowed to Liz that she wouldn’t be left out, and so I will be carrying her ashes along the entire route with me.
I will be setting up a website and facebook page so that you will soon be able to read more about the challenge and will post links here just as soon as they are complete.
Thanks in advance for any and all support.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
So please dig deep and donate now.
Charity Registration No. 1022119
When a family has been told that there’s no cure for their loved one’s illness, Havens Hospices can help. Our specialist care is free but we have to raise £100,000 every week to be there for everyone who needs us. That's only possible because of you. Together we're 'Making every day count'.
Good luck and all the best for your run.
Donation by Ant on 15/05/11
+ £25.00 Gift Aid
hiya . will give you some more nearer the time :) good luck :)
Donation by Heather Biner on 12/05/11
+ £2.50 Gift Aid
Good luck mate, I might pop up and see you on route.
Donation by Ian Martin on 11/05/11
+ £6.25 Gift Aid
Wishing you all the best for your run.
Donation by Greg on 09/05/11
Donation by Nicole Astor on 07/05/11
Best of luck - heard of your great cause through the Echo
Donation by Dan H on 05/05/11
+ £2.50 Gift Aid
Good luck - an excellent cause
Donation by phil sears on 05/05/11
+ £5.00 Gift Aid
I used to work with Liz at the Abbey in Rayleigh & Canvey! such a lovely lady so sad to hear the news! Havens is a great charity! good luck x
Donation by melanie barnes on 05/05/11
+ £2.50 Gift Aid
Go lambkin go! :-) But seriously good luck with an amazing & worthwhile challenge x
Donation by Sarah Ginn on 05/05/11
+ £5.00 Gift Aid
Best of luck mate!
Donation by Noel on 05/05/11
+ £5.00 Gift Aid
Wishing you the very best for your challenge! Good luck!
Donation by Kelly Woods on 03/05/11
All the best Graham in your challenge!!!
Donation by scott potter on 28/04/11
+ £7.50 Gift Aid
Very best wishes Graham. A very difficult task made harder by having Stan as your wing man. Good luck ;)
Donation by Martin Diggines on 25/04/11
+ £30.50 Gift Aid
Wishing you all the best Love from Jane Neil Kerri Swan
Donation by Jane Swan on 24/04/11
+ £10.00 Gift Aid
all the best for a worthy cause graham.
Donation by anne-marie silva on 24/04/11
Good luck Graham, truly inspirational. Julia, Tony, Eleanor, Katie and Charlie.
Donation by Julia Beaumont on 24/04/11
+ £10.00 Gift Aid
122 miles. Here is a pound for every mile you will mcjog alone. I will join you for the last mile, and sprint ahead taking all the credit, photos, a
Donation by Sampathawadugue Stanley Harold Silva II on 24/04/11
+ £30.25 Gift Aid
U NUTTER! Good luck matey...know your'll do it through sheer determination! "RUN FOREST RUN"..
Donation by kay symcox on 23/04/11
+ £1.25 Gift Aid
Good luck - what a great idea.Ros, Malc, Charlotte and Jacob.
Donation by Ros Marsh on 23/04/11
+ £10.00 Gift Aid
The Church of Latter Day Jesusjoggers sponsors you dear Mr Gayham. We have manys Nira for you. Please send your bonk details for manys cash money.
Donation by Nelson Ambolipoho on 23/04/11
+ £0.50 Gift Aid
Good luck and much love to you Graham!
Donation by Hobbit on 23/04/11
+ £12.50 Gift Aid
Graham - 122 miles, and so £1 for every one of them. We'll be right behind you every step of the way... literally (well, in the car!) Matt & Liz xxx
Donation by Matt & Liz on 23/04/11
+ £30.50 Gift Aid
Graham, our love and support will be with you and Liz every step of the way xx
Donation by Jo Oats on 22/04/11
- * Online donations£4,963.01
- Offline donations£9,928.99
- Text donations£131.00
- Total raised£15,023.00
- Gift Aid£1,004.00
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